Hidden Paris! Café Cour - an Ephemeral Café in a Secret Courtyard.

Café Cour.  A hidden courtyard in the Marais with a tower from Philippe-Auguste's wall, built between 1190 and 1209.

Serendipity is the name of my favorite guide in Paris. Whenever I follow her lead, I'm sure to have a special Parisian experience.

Yesterday afternoon, Serendipity escorted us through the courtyard of the Hôtel de Soubise, a sumptuous mansion housing part of the national archives of France. As we were too late to visit the temporary exhibition about the four French Resistance fighters recently inducted into the Pantheon, our guide consoled us with a couple of surprises.

The first was a secret courtyard that's open to the public for a limited time this summer. Not only does the ephemeral terrace have an interesting selection of bio snacks and fair trade products, but it also offers the opportunity to have a rare glimpse of a tower built by Philippe-Auguste between 1190 and 1209. Serendipity certainly knows how to please -- What could be better than sipping a glass of rosé while sitting in the historic Cour Renaudot of the Crédit Municipal de Paris?

Hurry if you would like to enjoy a meal or drink in this peaceful courtyard. Like the fleeting pleasures of summer, Café Cour closes its doors on September 27, 2015.

Café Cour
55/57 rue des Francs-Bourgeois
75004 Paris

The University of California, Fullerton choir rehearsing at the Eglise Notre-Dames des Blancs-Manteaux in Paris

After leaving the tranquil haven of Café Cour, Serendipity urged us to step inside the Eglise Notre-Dame des Blancs-Manteaux. Walking past a group of American youths cluttered near the entrance, Stéphane and I took a seat to enjoy the cool interior of the church. It was only then that we realized that the group of Americans was a choir from the University of California, Fullerton. We listened in awe when they took their places in front of the alter and broke into song. They were rehearsing for a concert later that evening.

The Place des Vosges was our last stop on Serendipity's tour of the Marais...

Place des Vosges


  1. Looks lovely. We know this area well but have never seen that courtyard, naturally. AND we'll be in Paris as of Sept. 2nd. So maybe we'll check it out…….thanks for the tip!


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